Selected Highlights of the Labs21 2007 Annual Conference

Designing for Flexibility: Sustainable Systems Strategies

Jonathan Friedan, P.E., LEED AP, and Stephen Bartlett, AIA, LEED AP, Ballinger

Abstract

Best practice for research building design includes planning for flexibility in use and occupation to prolong the useful life of the built project.  Anticipating changing research needs requires a further level of forethought to ensure that the building systems installed to best satisfy initial requirements remain energy efficient over time.  Using four generally accepted laboratory planning flexibility strategies, there are several corresponding opportunities for maximizing energy efficiency in research spaces.

Laboratory Planning Flexibility Features

  • Collective open plan laboratories in conjunction with alcove spaces

     

    Energy Efficiency Opportunities

    • Microclimate analysis
    • Glazing/orientation and perceived comfort
    • Temperature/humidity design points and allowable range
    • Zoning of space and localized controllability
    • Chilled beam applications
    • Conversions to tissue culture and laboratory support
    • Low-flow fume hoods
    • Customized laboratory support and linear equipment rooms

    Energy Efficiency Opportunities

    • Water cooled equipment
    • Displacement cooling for air cooled refrigerators/freezers
    • Recovering laboratory equipment heat at source
    • Ability to flex space between wet and dry research over time

    Energy Efficiency Opportunities

    • Criteria comparison between wet and dry research
    • 100 percent outside air total energy recovery systems vs. recirculating air systems
    • Wet/dry conversions in chilled beam/total energy recovery wheel systems
    • Appropriate interaction space 

    Energy Efficiency Opportunities

    • Glazing/orientation and perceived comfort
    • Microclimate analysis
    • Active double facades
    • Radiant heating/cooling
    • Active/passive chilled beams
    • Displacement cooling
    • Natural ventilation

Image of Furman University, Charles H. Townes Science Center Multi-Service Chiled Beam & Radiant Heating Light Shelf
Furman University, Charles H. Townes Science Center Multi-Service Chiled Beam & Radiant Heating Light Shelf
Image of Johns Hopkins University, New Chemistry Building, High Air Flow Chemistry Research Laboratory
Johns Hopkins University, New Chemistry Building, High Air Flow Chemistry Research Laboratory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As illustrated in Ballinger's design of new teaching and research facilities at Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins University, to name a few, specific end user requirements and equipment needs were deciding factors in favor of one response over another.  Through the use of life cycle cost modeling and energy use analysis during the design process, each project's realization of flexibility takes a different path to achieve a common goal—a sustainable systems strategy.  Techniques used to maximize energy efficiency in these teaching and research buildings include:

  • Run around energy recovery loops
  • Heat pipes
  • Total energy recovery wheels
  • Variable air volume and low-flow fume hoods
  • Chilled beams


Biographies

Jonathan Friedan has spearheaded the engineering systems programming, planning, and design of major corporate, academic, healthcare, and research facilities for Ballinger over the past sixteen years. Jonathan wrote the engineering sections of the National Science Foundation guidebook on research facility planning and has given numerous lectures nationwide on sustainable HVAC design and retrofit strategies. He has been the recipient of national technology awards from ASHRAE and regional awards for campus master planning from the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering.

Stephen Bartlett is a Ballinger studio leader with extensive experience in both Europe and the United States, primarily in academic, medical, and corporate research facilities. As a result of his European experience, Stephen has developed a keen interest in technologically sophisticated buildings integrating architecture, engineering, and sustainable design.